Manhasset BOE, Residents Demand Greater Transparency of Information sign now

To Cindy Cardinal, Board President
To Carlo Prinzo, Board Vice President
To Pat Aitken, Board Member
To Regina Rule, Board Member
To Craig Anderson, Board Member
To New York State Education Department
To David Steiner, New York State Commissioner of Education
To Members of the Press

We the undersigned would like the six policy changes (listed below) adopted by the Manhasset Board when conducting public meetings to provide greater transparency of information, increase public awareness and encourage greater public participation.

Historically public board meetings in Manhasset have been poorly attended. These meetings keep the public informed about issues affecting their children and provide an insight into how the bulk of their property taxes are being spent. Many members of the community are unable to attend the board meetings for numerous reasons (i.e. long work hours, sports practices, inability to procure a baby sitter on a weeknight, etc). Instead of bringing the people to the board meetings, we the undersigned, propose bringing the board meetings to the people. In the era of digital recording, YouTube, pod casts and streaming video this is a relatively inexpensive and simple task.

The concerned parents and taxpayers of Manhasset would like greater transparency and access to school district information. We the undersigned would like the Manhasset School District to implement the following positive changes surrounding the conduct of Manhasset Board of Education public meetings.

1. The meeting agenda and all documents referenced in the agenda should be posted on the district's website in a clear and concise manner. These documents should be made available no later than 24 hours prior to the scheduled meeting.
2. Residents should be allowed to email questions that will be read aloud and answered during the public question period.
3. All public questions and answers should be recorded in the public minutes.
4. All board meetings should be video-taped and uploaded to the districts website within 2 hours.
5. A toll-free conference number should be circulated to members of the community. This option would allow individuals to dial into the meeting and ultimately be permitted to ask questions at the end of the meeting.
6. Start times for public meetings should be clear; business meetings should not be combined with awards ceremonies.

Decisions made at these meetings impact our children and represent an 85 million dollar spend and the bulk of our property tax. Greater transparency and accessibility is warranted and could be delivered with very little cost and effort.

In addition to signing this petition, we encourage everyone to email ([email protected]), call (516-267-7700) and write (200 Memorial Place) the Manhasset Board of Education asking for greater transparency and visibility into our school district. Do it for your children and do it for better governance.

Whenever the people are well informed, they can be trusted with their own government; that whenever things get so far wrong as to attract their notice, they may be relied on to set them to rights. Thomas Jefferson, 1789

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Cynthia StevensBy:
Technology and the InternetIn:
Petition target:
The Members of the Manhasset Board of Education

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